With an Eye on 2018 and Beyond
"Traveler, there is no path, the path is made by walking."
In December I shared some thoughts to close the year with. Today I would like to offer some ideas for 2018 and beyond.
The world has changed remarkably in the last three decades and the forces that drive this process will be picking up steam as time progresses. The past few years confirm that we are a "bridge" generation, a link between two realities.
On one hand, we can see the end of obsolete institutions and models, and the beginning of a new world surprisingly different from the previous one. Political, economic, and business ideas and beliefs have evolved toward a new reality that forces us, as my friend David Konzevik would say, to "rethink what has already been established and to think about what has not yet been elucidated.”
We are already talking about the inevitable, that is, the trends that will continue radically transforming our world. We must decide how we’re going to take advantage of this new reality; otherwise we could be crushed by it.
We must decide how we’re going to take advantage of the new reality.
In this new world, trades and professions, including institutions or entire industries, will disappear or be transformed beyond recognition thanks to technology that we couldn’t imagine even a few years ago.
Advances in medicine, for example, have allowed us to progress from having a life expectancy of only 35 years at the beginning of the 20th century, to more than double that figure today. Although it is a favorable change, it has tremendous effects on healthcare systems and retirement systems in general, including savings and investment rates.
One of the technologies that will radically transform our world is artificial intelligence. There is nothing that has greater consequences than a "dumb" device that acquires intelligence and is capable of responding autonomously to its environment. The impact will be more profound than industrialization itself.
The impact of artificial intelligence will be more profound than industrialization itself.
Even though technology creates its own problems, it also leads to an increase in well-being measured in terms of the reduction in extreme poverty, increased life expectancy, comfort, access to information, ease of communication, and a long list of other benefits. These benefits will be increasingly greater for individuals, companies, and nations capable of adapting to new circumstances.
With a view to the future, what can we expect?
The complexity and uncertainty that we faced last year will intensify in 2018. However, as always, we will be prepared to face any eventuality.
We will prepare to take advantage of new trends, seeking to satisfy the increasingly demanding expectations of new generations. At exponential moments, the value of time, which is the scarcest resource, will increase, and therefore instantaneity will become a necessary condition.
Therefore, we must be prepared to react immediately. This explains the heavy investments in modernizing and digitizing processes in all of our companies.
I have previously said that the most important role of a leader is to make good, well-grounded judgments and informed decisions that produce good results.
One of the main issues that the captain of a ship faces is to decide who should be part of and who should leave the crew. In order for our group of companies to maintain its leadership in the market, we need to be the best employment option for young, talented and high-energy people. We will always seek to be at the forefront of our industries by adapting the best management practices and the most advanced technologies.
We will always seek to be at the forefront of our industries.
We must never settle for what is. I’m always open to hearing ideas and proposals on how to improve everything we do, ranging from the most basic processes in our businesses, to the way we seek to generate inclusive prosperity.
As Antonio Machado reminds us, the path is made by walking. We know that the challenges we face this year will not be simple. But we have never sought the easy way out. If we want to contribute to a better society, we have to be prepared and willing to face colossal challenges. No group with more than 110 years of existence can elude them.
We have to be prepared and willing to face colossal challenges.
We have travelled a long road of obstacles and we know a business group with so much history is comprised at all times of extraordinary people and is sustained on the "shoulders of giants." Thank you for being part of Grupo Salinas.